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Producer/Label Founder Matt Dike, Dead at 55

By Katie Makal. Matt Dike, co-founder of influential hip-hop music label Delicious Vinyl and producer, has died at the age of 55.

Los Angeles, CA (March 16, 2018)—Matt Dike, co-founder of influential hip-hop music label Delicious Vinyl and a creative force who helped shape the sound of the Beastie Boys’ second album, Paul’s Boutique, has died. Dike died at his home in Los Angeles in January after a brief, undisclosed illness.

Born in West Nyack, N.Y. in 1962, Dike was raised a Jehovah’s Witness in a home where music from Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and similar artists were forbidden. Growing up outside New York City in the 1970s, he became a music lover and embraced the city’s vivid music and arts scene, making a living as a DJ while attending New York University. After moving to Los Angeles in 1980, Dike rose to prominence within the L.A. music scene at nightclubs including Rhythm Lounge and Power Tools, which helped power the emergence of bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction and others.

Blog: Rummaging in Paul’s Boutique

During that time, he met Mike Ross, with whom he founded Delicious Vinyl in 1987. Significant releases from the label, including Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina” and Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” were instrumental in helping hip-hop music cross into the mainstream.

Around that time, Dike lent his prodigious music sampling skills to the Beastie Boys’ sophomore album, Paul’s Boutique (Capitol, 1989), produced by Dust Brothers Mike Simpson and John King. Initially a commercial flop, the album went on to be certified double-platinum a decade after its release. Much of the densely layered album was recorded in Dike’s apartment. “The album was a complete and utter failure at the time,” he recalled in 2014. “It didn’t sell shit! But it got mind-blowing reviews, which I think is better for me in the long run.”

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Dike sold his interest in Delicious Vinyl to Ross in 1992 and retreated from public life thereafter.